Griffith: Making Folk Music Popular Again

By Surkamp, David | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 19, 1993 | Go to article overview

Griffith: Making Folk Music Popular Again


Surkamp, David, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


IN singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith's publicity material, she is careful to include the fact that she has embarked on a self-determined mission ". . .to make the `F' word popular again." "F" as in folk, that is. And the success of her latest album, "Other Voices, Other Rooms" barings her one step closer to that goal.

After 15 years as a recording act, Griffith has chosen her debut on Elektra Records to look back at her songwriting roots and document some of the songwriters that have influenced her career. "Other Voices, Other Songs" brims with melodies and lyrics that may have escaped most of the record-buying masses, but hold special significance for the Austin-born singer.

Starting with a list of about 300 songs, Griffith began a painstaking process of choosing what she considered to be appropriate material for the project. She hoped to document every era of folk music, beginning with "Are You Tired of Me Darling?," a Carter Family treasure dating back to 1877, and ending with present-day masters of the idiom such as John Prine.

The title, "Other Rooms, Other Voices," was borrowed from Truman Capote's 1948 novel. But the other voices included on the album are also significant.

Griffith's close friend, Emmylou Harris turns up to sing harmony on "Across the Great Divide," and Bob Dylan, himself, blows haunting harmonica on his '60s era love song "Boots of Spanish Leather." The most important "other voice," however, belongs to Carolyn Hester, a woman whose work inspired Griffith to take up music in the first place.

As a young girl in Austin, Griffith's transistor radio was a ticket to a world beyond a middle-class Texas world. It was possible in those days to hear songs by Hester, back-to-back with those of Nat King Cole and Elvis Presley. Consequently, at age 8, after hearing Hester's music, Griffith picked up her first acoustic guitar and never looked back.

In her teen years, she found herself playing in rock bands, usually singing harmonies on Grateful Dead material and the like. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Griffith: Making Folk Music Popular Again
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.